Photo by Ava Simonsen
This year the district has replaced block schedule weeks in the month of April with 7-7-O-E weeks to account for mandatory state testing.
According to associate principal Jeff Storey the state has cut down the amount of tests by over 50 percent. Last year, sophomores had eight days of testing, and juniors had six days, whereas this year sophomores only had four, and juniors had two.
The number of questions on each test have also been reduced, and the state estimated that only 45 minutes would be needed for each session. Therefore a block period of 85 minutes would be too much time.
“One block day was probably too little time to complete both sessions for a subject, but it was too much extra time to schedule two block days for a total of 90 minutes of testing per subject,” Storey said.
Secondary students taking part in programs off-campus such as the culinary program at Broadmoor also created an issue with busing and testing schedules. The off-campus program bus schedules get chaotic if students are testing at different times.
“[The district] wanted to have all the high schools on the same schedule because sometimes we share facilities with other students and so that makes travel to and from easier because classes are happening at the same times,” Associate Principal Dr. Susan Leonard said.
Storey also mentioned that there weren’t a large number of students in the off-campus program but that it was enough to be disruptive to keeping the schedules on track.
Five representatives from the five high schools in the district met and decided to continue with the regular schedule in order to solve the busing issue and provide a comfortable amount of time for testing.